Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

36 years old
Not Specified
from Memphis, TN

  • Activity

    • Open Letter to Rooster Teeth

      1 week ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      Dear Rooster Teeth  


      There was a moment in the RT Podcast where you discussed the health of the Community site. As a fairly regular member of the Forums, I thought you might like my take on the issue as this site means a lot to me and I want to see it thrive and succeed. So first, a little bit about me and the history of the community site as I know it, then a brief discussion of the points you raised on the podcast, and finally a few ideas and words of encouragement.  Note; I'm not expecting y'all to respond back, I'm just tagging you so you can read this if you choose. My hope is that I can add context to your strategic planning and help present a case on why the site has died, and what I believe needs to be done to resurrect it. 


      My first exposure to RoosterTeeth was in 2005, my senior year of college. My buddy got me hooked on RvB and so I came to the site. At the time, I wasn't terribly active: I spent more time at TheForce.Net, but over the course of time THIS site became my internet home. Sometime after 2010 I became really involved in the site. We tended to congregate in the LvL20 General Welcome thread. It was a grab bag of personalities and we thrived on long form communication and community. To give you an example: in 2011 I announced my wife's pregnancy. This was the FIRST place I thought to do that because the relationships that I had been building here mattered more to me than many other 'real' relationships I had. 


      There was a group of us that wanted to have more 'structured' dialog, and so we started the Oxford Comma Cafe. In its heyday, the OCC boasted several hundred REAL posts (not just one-line responses, but serious long form thoughts) a day and we talked about ANYTHING. Religion, Politics, Guns, Sexual Orientation, Social Justice...anything was up for grabs. Whats more, we didn't agree on everything. We'd spend weeks holding court with each other, presenting cases and arguments but in such a manner as to protect the integrity of each other and build each other up instead of tearing down. Iron sharpens Iron and so we viewed these discussions as making us better PEOPLE in general. We weren't just bullshitting...we, and I'm speaking for all of us but encourage others in the Cafe to add their two cents, all became better people because of this place.


      Then the site died.


      I know that there were things behind the scenes. I know that blip going down was hard and you had to rush in new code to keep something. I'm not going to belittle that point; we all know that the situation was not ideal, it was what it was. The one thing that I want to address is the fact that I felt that the support we received during that time was...underwhelming.  There was little meaningful communication and I felt like there needed to be some stronger, more personalized actions coming out of RT to ensure that people (like the OCC) felt like the home they had built over years of activity wasn't just going to poop out. It did...we lost our entire history in the lvl 20 forums as that did not pass over; but it was never truly addressed and I believe that was the moment where users felt a breach of trust between RT and the community.


      but we moved on. Functionality was still a great hindrance to the site, things worked....okay and we memed things (like the forum yeti which forced us to @LoZelda as tribute at the top of every new page.) In addition to technical issues and the distrust that came with miscommunication, we also began to see an emerging trend where RT talent relied on other forms of social media, pushing YouTube, interacting more on Reddit other than walking through the streets of their own community. Because of that, users flocked out to other social media sites where they felt like they would get more up to date communication than on the site.  This is true: Twitter and Reddit consistently get notified about things on the site before the site itself is updated with the communication. This frustrated the user base which fell off even more.


      To this point, we have seen little advancement in strategy to engage with the Community side of things. We are bolt on to the overall mission of RoosterTeeth.  The store, for example, has had numerous re-launches (two of which I know) and yet when I check the box "open link in new window" putting a link in this very journal...it does not open link in new box.  The Search function is terrible and useless. Finding and cross-pollinating between groups has become tedious if not all together impossible. Whats more, the user base has dwindled to the point that I consistently am in the top five users each week with under 100 posts a week and there are really less than 10 active threads in general discussion. As a matter of fact, there are some top level forums that haven't seen activity in over 3 years.


      So here we are today, There is an acknowledgement that 'something' has happened to the forums, but I don't know if RoosterTeeth has really acknowledged the root cause, nor placed a lot of effort in resolving it. I get it. You don't owe me anything. Pizza Hut used to be a dine-in restaurant with delivery options, but now its impossible to find a dine-in Pizza Hut because their market changed to focus on delivery. They're not telling me I can't have a pizza...they're just telling me that they're not supplying me with a dining room. RoosterTeeth needs to either acknowledge that the community is not a priority and cut it with the understanding that they will survive it. We all know they would.  But, if they are community focused and just haven't figured out how to do it, they need to influx resources into a massive campaign and restore trust and faith with us.  I'll get to that in a minute. So with that said, I want to address the points you brought up on the Podcast.


      1. Is the decline because of all the social media that RT uses?  YES. Think about the movie Cars. Radiator Springs used to be a booming town on RT66, but when the highway bypasses the town only those who live there and have a sustainability that is attached to the community are able to thrive; everyone else moves on.  That is what has happened here. You create fast-lanes prioritizing access to content that doesn't involve interacting here, and in fact you actually incentivize people to use other paths by interacting through those mediums and providing more value there. If I want to know immediately what is up, I go to Twitter, not to roosterteeth.com.  There is no value in coming to the community, because the road completely bypasses us.


      2.Is the decline because users do not get gratification by interaction (from RT Staff/Cast) because it isn't there?  YES. This is also a bit of an issue. Now keep in mind, I am more of an adult than some of the people around here, and I understand that it takes an incredible amount of energy to engage with people on the level that you would have to engage with them on. I can't imagine you responding to every single summons (which is why I'm not expecting you to respond to this) as you have a life. You can't kiss every baby, and community members who expect you to be at their beckon call to satisfy their validation need to re-evaluate their priorities. Still, being active and present should be a priority in SOME capacity.  We feel like this was a town you built, and then moved out of. 


      3. People are intimidated by long form communication.  That's so pessimistic Gus!! Seriously, though, you do have a point. Many people today have been taught to communicate online through Twitter. As such, things like this journal entry are far too much of an investment in time for them. Still, I believe that this behavior can be learned, and I think that there is explicit value in maintaining the art of online communication in this form. That's why we have the OCC.


      4. This place is for discussions (on Gaming or movies, or anything you want to discuss.) I paraphrased you Burnie. While I partially agree with you I want to point out the flaw: It is a community, not just a place to discuss stuff. This is a place where we come to meet people and then exchange ideas. Some of the best people in my life are here. I met @Desayjin because of this site, and our families have had dinner together several times (we need to do that again, James before bambina tres comes along.) It's not just about discussions...its about a thriving cohort of PEOPLE. It's the interaction that happens when people know they have a voice and are able to connect with each other. Discussions are better the more you know the person. 


      So finally, let me lay out a few things that I think could help you in your discussions. 

      First, RoosterTeeth needs to re-earn the trust of the community. It has come to the point where we feel like the community is irrelevant. Heck, even a link to the Forum was overlooked with the site update. 


      Second, we need more interaction. Social interaction is necessary for community. I suggest that RT staff and cast take to their other outlets and try to funnel people back to the community. Have RT do some large, heavily promoted community events that are only discussed on the site. Link from Twitter and FB and Reddit BACK to the Forum. Draw people in.  


      Third, don't waste time in starting the refresh of the community: Prioritize it. Its...not ideal right now. As far as I know, the OCC is the largest, most dedicated posting body on the Forums other than RWBY (I'd love to see metrics on that btw.) Also, please don't destroy our homes. It took over a month before we could re-create the OCC, and it really never was the same. If we lose everything we have, I don't foresee us staying on the site. We'd most likely end up in Discord, which really doesn't achieve the Forum like communication that we champion. 


      Fourth, communicate. We need to know what and why. We need timelines. We need to be able to give feedback and know it's being heard. We need to know that RT values our input and our desires. Again, I am not delusional...you are a for profit organization and I'm sure that you have tables that show the amount of revenue to expenditure that the forum represents, and I guarantee that even including FIRST (god I hate that, go back to subscribers) members it doesn't pay for itself. I get it. If we really are not a priority, then just cut the line and stop pulling the bait. But if we are; please make good on your promises.


      Again, I love this site, and I appreciate all of you. Burnie, I want you to know that my wife was pissed off when you guys didn't win the Amazing Race; She has no time for RoosterTeeth and thinks I'm an incredible nerd...but she loved the way you and Ashley ran.  Barbara, I thank you for the number of times that you have come and talked with us at the OCC, and still think that you could give Margot Robbie a run for her money playing Harleyquinn. Gus, You are my spirit animal. If you ever get to Memphis, I'll try to see if I can get you a ride in our simulators. Becca, I don't know you very well, but I appreciate your dedication to this site and Chelsea...You rock. Thanks for putting up with us in the Old Person's Home, and thanks for always being willing to listen.


      Sincerely and with respect,


      Jared "Priest" C 


      cc:

      @burnie

      @Becca

      @gus

      @Barbara

      @Chelsea

    • The Question Game

      in Forums > The Question Game | Follow this topic

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      Here's the way to play:


      Tag someone and ask them a question, and they will answer honestly. Once they have answered, go back and edit your question to make them look like a monster.  First one:


      @Ratatoskr,


      Who is the most overrated and useless comic book hero? 

      27 replies

    • What's next?

      2 weeks ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      So back in December I attained my Project Management Professional Certification (PMP.) To be honest, I am prouder of this accomplishment than I am of my degree. In all possible worlds, me going down this path makes absolutely no sense. I am not built like a project manager. I am a project manager's worst nightmare.


      I am a free spirit at heart and to be honest VERY scatterbrained. I literally went to school to learn how to sing, and when I got out five years later instead of going and singing my lil heart out...I decided that I wanted to take the raw-end of customer service and go work in an insurance call center. Yes...that's fun... From there, I worked for a bit, moved into the Marketing Space where I thought I'd get to play with crayons, but instead I had to be process driven and focused. This wasn't me...but I was pretty good at it (so long as I made myself pay attention.)


      Then I met a girl, fell in love, and asked her to marry me. She moved me to Arkansas where I went to work as a supervisor of a benefits team for this company that moves a whole bunch of packages by truck.  I wasn't so good at the supervising, but I was really good at solving problems and figuring out how to do things that hadn't been done before. Again...just a guy who spent days of his life plunking clumsily on a keyboard trying to figure out his part leading. I wanted to perform, to intrigue and beguile audiences, and here I was in a cubicle trying to figure out how the hell a pivot table REALLY worked.  Wasn't what I thought I'd be doing...but it was a job.


      I then got a shot to move to a BIGGER part of the company, one that still moves packages but does it by airplane.  Cool, huh? The coolest part? I was hired to talk. Yep...That's my dream job. The second most terrifying thing that most humans hate...I love. Whats more, I was hired to go directly into hostile environments and give them information on benefits changes which...unless you're a child, you realize that NEVER EVER EVER change to be more rich.  What's more, I bid specifically to get the most 'at risk' groups. So I spent a few years going into hostile situations, letting people yell at me about things I couldn't change and being held personally responsible for any and all adverse situations.  I LOVED it. If employee engagement was Star Wars, I'd be freaking Darth Maul (without the whole...bisecting situation.)


      Sadly, as things go, the company changed strategies and moved the ENTIRE department off to a 'special' segment that did IT, HR, Comp type stuff. Keep in mind, I have NO marketable skills for this. I am a singer and vagabond, roaming across the wastes of the US telling people that they're going to have to pay $50 more a month for benefits that weren't as rich as last year. This was no longer a priority, and everything that we had been doing...is no longer. What ever will I do?


      I rolled with it. I adapted. I got thrust into the world of project management...I just didn't know that's what it was, nor what it actually meant. I was getting a nice paycheck for not knowing what I was doing...but I'm really good at projecting confidence and responding intelligently. It's amazing how many people think you are really smart so long as you never really say anything.


      So I sat back and watched. And watched. And watched.  I learned what a 'deliverable' was. I learned what a specification was, but I got it confused with requirements and had to figure that out. I learned about change orders. I learned about User Acceptance Testing. All of this made not one lick of sense to me starting out, mind you...but I learned anyway. I made mistakes, asked dumb questions (after I realized that I had a kick ass manager who didn't fire you for asking questions that revealed your deficiencies.) I learned. Slowly but surely, I learned.


      One day, I learned that there were certain certifications that were available that could give you a good knowledge base AND make you more marketable. This PMP thing sounded interesting and since I was wanting to earn more money and really needed to learn some stuff, I did it.  IT WAS HARD!!!! I took a week long bootcamp that totally went over my head. After that, I read several books and over the course of the next few months I failed to study like I needed to. Personal life happened and I soon passed the window to register for the test. booo.


      Two years pass.


      I decide to try to do the PMP thing again. I talk my MD (who had already paid for me to go through the bootcamp once) to pay again. He agrees. They also agree to pay for the test. I go through the bootcamp again and am STILL lost.  I fail to start studying when I really should (again) But this time, I decide that I'm going to take it more seriously. I start to really dive into it. I take advantage of resources I have at work (skillsoft ftw) and I really dig deep. You know what?  It starts to make some sense. I start to memorize all process groups, all knowledge areas and the important input/outputs and tools/techniques. It starts to make sense, and not just in the 'hey pass this and you get a certification' way, but 'hey, if you just follow these steps, you can, you know, like, build something really cool.' Still, I didn't have the confidence I was going to pass. I went into the test with a heavy heart, KNOWING that I was going to fail. I didn't. I passed. Not only did I pass...but I passed solidly. I exceeded expectations.


      That is why it is so important for me.  I realized that I had gone to school to sing because I was ALREADY good at it. I learned some stuff, yes...but I really just did well enough to pass my classes and never really pushed myself to LEARN something I didn't organically know how to do. This was the first time I had taken an off-ramp and done something COMPLETELY outside my comfort zone, learning a skill that I had no real grasp on, and I did a good job. I learned I wasn't just limited to the brilliance that I just normally exude (yes, I'm smart..not as smart as many of you, but I am an excel GOD in my old org.) I feel like this was the first time I TRULY earned something.


      So...what's next?  SHRM-CP? PHR? PMI-ACP? Or...do I learn to play the Tuba? 

    • RT Radio DJ Spot

      3 weeks ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      All,


      @MauriceV has asked me to do a guest DJ for RT Radio tomorrow.  Please tune in at 4:PM CT and hang out in Chat

    • Galatians

      3 weeks ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      The book of Galatians was written by Paul the Apostle to the Church at Galatia. It is one of his earlier writings.  Basically the theme of the letter is urging the Galatians to avoid the legalism in the practice of the Mosaic Law and instead focus on how it is contextualized in the Covenant act of Jesus on the Cross.  You see, what was happening here was that the Jewish converts were requiring that gentile converts follow the law of Moses which requires significant sacrifice (specifically in Paul's argument circumcision.)


      The first two chapters are typical Paul: He greets the church, he reminds them of the Gospel of Jesus as well as his own path and subsequent conversion and then the issues he faced with the Apostles and specifically Peter (Cephas.) And THIS is where the crux of the letter begins.


      Peter had been hanging with the Gentiles and being lax in his own Jewish purity rules, but then when some hard line supporters (he calls them the circumcision group) comes, he draws back...and distances himself from the gentiles. Paul calls him out on this and basically outs Peter as living like a Gentile when his friends weren't watching.  Hard core, bro. Paul then goes into a masterclass on how Christians should relate to each other and he also passes some really deep theology on salvation in general. There are several things I want to point out here.


      1. We are not justified by faith in our religion, we are justified by faith in Christ (Galatians 2). Paul outlines the flaws in looking to 'the Law' for salvation. The Law was never meant to justify. You can't do anything good enough, be a good enough person, follow the rules and earn justification. Justification, by the way, is a form of the greek word "dikaiosis" which speaks to 'being freed from.' 


      2:16 states that "a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified."


      2:19-20 states that in the law "I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." It is clear- no amount of righteousness, holding onto traditions or law can save you...only the mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ. In other words: being a "good person" doesn't free you from your guilt.  You can never be 'good' enough. It is granted to you.


      2. It don't matter who yo daddy is (Galatians 3). The Jews in Galatia were acting as if their upbringing as Jews somehow gave them a special standing with God. Paul gets a little snarky with them and asks them if they believed in Christ because of their adherence to their law...or by hearing the Gospel? He then points out the fact that Abraham, the father of their entire belief structure, was credited righteousness by believing God...not by doing works. He states through 3:4-9 that the Gentiles, who had no connection to Abraham, would HAVE to be justified by faith and not works, and that God had used Abraham not to create a fast pass for the Jews to heaven, but rather to create the method for the entire World to access God. He further twists the knife by telling those who believe that the law is salvation are 'cursing' themselves needlessly. Jesus became the curse, and is the key for both the Jew AND the Gentile to access the same fast lane to God. It makes no difference if you can trace your lineage back to Abraham...you still have the same requirement of redemption at the Cross.  True Diversity comes with faith. Galatians 3:23-29 is Pauls mic drop on the matter. 


      "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

      Wow. 


      Take a moment and understand how unsettling that statement would be to the First Century Church? No male or female? No Jew nor Gentile? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! Everything that the world was built on is completely destroyed in that sentence. 


      3. It matters who HIS daddy is (Galatians 4).  Once we are justified by faith in Christ, we all have access to the inheritance owed Jesus as a Son. We are not slaves to anything like circumcision or holy days or purity laws or the equinox or any other thing. We are freed from the need to meet the requirements of the law and have inherited equal right across the board. We are all the same in front of God, provided we have faith in Christ.


      4. FREEEDOMMMM!!!!!! (Galatians 5). Because we are heirs of Christ's inheritance and not of the law, we are FREE. If we choose to bow to the law, we have to go all the way. Paul's suggestion to the sect that was pushing for circumcision was that they go all the way and cut of their entire...ahem... (Galatians 5:12.)  Dude knew how to throw shade.


      Paul cautions, though that Freedom doesn't mean that we have the right to just indulge in sin. Sin are the "acts of the Flesh" In Paul speak:


      "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." 5:19-21

      They are mirrored by the Fruit of the Spirit:


      "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." 5:22-26

      5. Be Excellent to each other (Galatians 6). Finally Paul ends the letter telling the church to be nice, correct each other gently and to be good.



      Why write all this here?


      I know that there aren't a lot of people here who have time for Christian theology, but I just want to throw it out there in the event someone wants to learn a little bit about it. I hear about the intolerance of Christians, the racism, bigotry, hatred. Some of it is warranted as I believe many misrepresent what the Bible says. Yes, the Bible has rules. There are things that are sinful that aren't especially popular to be lumped in those categories. 


      The important thing to get from the letter is this: There is no fast pass to God, Just because you were born whatever doesn't mean that God loves you any less or any more. We all have the access to God with faith in Jesus, and it doesn't matter what our skin, hair, or plumbing looks like. Forcing others to adhere to holiness traditions that are traditions of imparting salvation (like sacrifice, circumcision, drinking grape juice instead of wine....) are all bad juju. Yes, there are things that are morally wrong and God hates them...but If you honestly place faith in Jesus, then the Spirit of God works to change your heart on these things. 












    • Ending the era

      1 month ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      So I'm starting my new job tonight. I'm going to be an HR Advisor at one of the worlds largest shipping hubs. I'm going to see a LOT of interesting things, and I'm going to gain experience fast. I'm hitting the ground with both feet and I'm going to work as hard as I can to move up (and to days.)

    • Star Wars RPG Resource Database

      in Forums > Star Wars RPG Resource Database | Follow this topic

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      This is a Database to support the Star Wars RPG that is going on in the forum.  Please post your Character Sheets here and any technical specs of ships that you wish to control. I'll be providing links for online resources as we go that can be used to create customized ships. I will have to approve anything that comes into game, though.

      81 replies

    • Star Wars: Turn Based Text RPG

      in Forums > Star Wars: Turn Based Text RPG | Follow this topic

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      So back in the early 2000's I was a poor college student living in a dorm room passing the time online at TheForce.net. One of the message boards on that site was an RPG forum. We began WOTG (War of the Galaxy) a turn based prose role playing game where 30 some odd of us interacted in the GFFA (Galaxy Far Far Away.) This game lasted for years and I STILL have text files with all sorts of notes and snippets of ideas.  I played for a while until I assumed a role as one of three Game Masters.  These Game Masters represented each of the warring factions and would monitor the game and prevent God Modding and would rule in the event that the players began to fight over the outcomes of the skirmishes. 


      So...how did this work?


      Well, it was nowhere as organized as a DD campaign, that's for sure. We never rolled dice, we never used math, and there wasn't really any 'chance' to it. Instead, we used words. Each player would write their actions out, adding narrative color, thoughts and emotion of their characters, and once they were done, they would [Tag] the other players that were in the particular scenario. The other player would then react to these actions.  They needed to be fair: if the previous move would have been able to break their defensive line they would have to address it and self-report the damage. If it wasn't 'fair' enough, the GM would step in and modify it after consulting with the other GM's for a consensus. This would go back and forth, taking characters through story arcs across the galaxy, through space battles, land battles, imprisonment and very rarely...death. (while it was in rules to kill each other's characters, we didn't always pursue that course of action...unless the person was super annoying and argued with the GM using the following logic as to why he shouldn't have died: "I hada field."  Good ol Anakin Doboski.


      I'd like to try something like this here, and start out small. I am going to setup a small scenario for two players. While you don't have to really flesh out a character, it does sort of help, so think about it. 


      Rules:

      1. Play happens in a turn by turn basis. play is first come, first serve. 

      2. This is prose based and you should think about this more like writing a novel and not playing a video game.

      3. While you don't get points for in-depth characterization, it makes it more fun for people to read. During your turn, please be as detailed as possible in the actions that your character takes. 

      4. Avoid posting major actions of your opponent. They are responsible for detailing the results that happen to them

      5. When your opponent attacks...be realistic on the damage. 

      6. You can only react using the knowledge your character has in game.  No Godmodding, and no supernatural knowledge.

      7. If there is a complicated action, it is OKAY for both sides to get together and hash out the action and post it as one post (with GM approval) in order to move the story forward to the next scene. 

      8. The GM reserves the right to step in and modify anything that may be outside the perimeters of the game. 


      Gameplay:

      1. Use [Brackets] to indicate Side, Force, Character, Location  are writing at the start of your turn. Ex: [Rebellion, 1st Fleet, Admiral Priest, Yavin 4]

      2. Tag your opponent when you're finished. 

      3. Avoid any 'chatter' in this thread. If you're going to talk across the board, use OOC: (out of character/context)

      4. Tag the GM with any questions (that is me at this point.)


      Resources


      Everything


      If it isn't contained here, I have supplemental resources below.


      Ships:  


      Planets:  


      Weapons

      69 replies

    • OCC- Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social disparity

      in Forums > OCC- Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social disparity | Follow this topic

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I've been hesitant to open a topic like this in the background. This is one of the conversations that I truly want pushed to the front of the house, as I think we all need to be confronted with the opposing viewpoints that exist on these topics. I didn't want to closet this discussion. These topics are the most important things that no one is talking about. 


      At this point you may say "no one is talking about? It's all I hear about!!"


      That's true. There is little discussion happening in these topics. Most of the time, it's lecturing from both sides. So I want to try something here.  This thread will have a few more 'rules' than other OCC threads that I hope we can get Site admins help on. 


      Conduct

      1. Absolutely no ad hominems or sarcasm. No trolling or mocking. 

      2. Be courteous. Understand that not everyone is at the same level as you. Some people may need a little grace; don't rake them over the coals.

      3. No off topic discussion at all.

      4. This thread is for serious conversations only. If you're coming here to crack a joke...don't.


      Discussion

      1. Be explicit in your position and expect explicit responses; do not imply that you are advocating for a position and don't infer that someone else holds to a position.

      2. You do not have to agree with everyone, but you are accountable for your position. 

      3. State clearly who you are responding to and on what point. Do not be ambiguous.

      4. Fully read the ENTIRE post you are responding to. Do not skim. Also, do not just wait to post your response without reading and contemplating what the other side has argued.

      5. It's okay to ask clarifying questions. If you don't understand what someone is saying, ask them.

      6. No Logical Fallacy Jujitsu here. There are far too many people who try to discount points by leaning on formalized rhetorical theory. Don't do that, this is not a debate club and you aren't earning points. Ask clarifying questions to probe any fallacy.

      7. Don't just rely on asking for a 'source' as a way of elevating your position over another. It's okay to ask if a claim is made (like 80% of all babies are dumb) but if you are both circling around subjective claims, asking for a source is ultimately pointless. 

      8. You may post sources to back up your argument...but don't let your sources do your arguing for you. State your claim, don't just link them. 



      At the end of the day, I want to foster positive discussion on really difficult topics.  We may not change each other's minds, but we will have HEARD each other out, instead of just shouting at each other in a tone deaf nature. 

      22 replies

    • Thoughts and Prayers

      2 months ago

      Priest NonSequitur OCC Consular

      I have a love/hate relationship with the term 'thoughts and prayers.' On one hand, it is the easy go-to phrase for "I don't know what to say, I want to provide sympathy but I don't know how to go about saying it so here..."  It's standard boiler-plate in the modern American Lexicon. When most people say it, they don't mean it in the sense that they are legitimately thinking and praying...or if they do it is a 'moment of silence' sort of thing that really is just enough to satisfy the need of the person who is taking that moment.  In this context, I understand the outrage towards people who, when seeing children die, resort to saying "thoughts and prayers" as some sort of incantation to wave away bad thoughts and evil deeds. I understand how woefully inadequate the phrase is: it is the "God Bless You" after a sneeze.  It is the "Dammit" or "Oh God." It is a meaningless epithet. 

      Mostly. But what is it to a person who truly believes it?


      There was a man by the name of George Muller. George was a Christian Evangelist from the early 1800's until the late 1800's when...of course...he died. The man spent a lifetime in England working on proselytizing and ministering, and taking care of orphans. While I could unpack his lifetime of work, what I want to focus on is his belief in prayer.  George Muller believed that prayers were answered. Not only did he believe it, he expected it to happen to the point that he jotted down each prayer, and when it would be answered. He spent hours a day in prayer and reading his Bible. Some prayers took more than 50 years to be answered...several even after he had already died. 


      For a man like this, prayer is more than just a 'good thought' or 'speaking to the air.' Muller believed (as I do) that he was speaking to God.There are things that happen that it seems like there is no real answer.  Sure, we can destroy all guns and we'll be safe for a while. But then there are bombs. Then there are trucks running through crowds of people. Then there are planes hitting buildings. Sure, we can mitigate some of the damage, but at the end of the day, evil still exists, and that is something that cannot be legislated or educated against. For a person who truly believes in prayer, prayer is the seeking to find the source of the issue and address it. People shoot other people because they come to the point where they believe that taking others lives will acheive a goal. Prayer seeks to intervene in the source.  I believe it works.


      So, if you've followed through all of this, I want to offer something to you. You may not believe in prayer.  You may think I'm nuts, but there might be something in your life that you don't know how to deal with. There may be something that is holding you down. You may not believe in prayer...but I do. Send me a PM, tell me specifically what you want me to pray for (you don't have to go into great detail) and I will. I will pray for you, and for whatever circumstance you see yourself in.  The only thing I ask is that once you get on the other side of it...let me know.

  • Comments (74)

    • Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      7 months ago

      You didn't die this year. Good work, keep it up!

    • Izayer FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Stories

      7 months ago

      Happy Birthday big guy. Make the best on this day.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        7 months ago

        Thanks, man!

    • Ratatoskr Keeper of Logics

      11 months ago

      I see...


      un23nn0.gif


      ... an FU.


      Congrats!

    • andytheciderman RTCyclist/Keeper of Wine

      11 months ago

      Happy FU Day!

    • Joron093 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of The Forges

      11 months ago

      Happy FU day man!  Congratulations, don't let it go to your head.  Eh, what the hell, let it go to your head, live it up a little.

    • LadyOddDuck

      11 months ago

      I can think of nobody more deserving of an FU. Happy FU Day!

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        11 months ago

        I appreciate it, Duck!!!!

    • Lamkia

      11 months ago

      Hey my awesome Jedi-Priest drawing is on the front page!

      Oh yeah and I guess also congrats on the FU :p

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        11 months ago

        wow, my first FU!!!!

    • madmanmoe Keeper of Shenanigans

      1 year ago

      for some reason I thought of you when I saw this picture XD


      iLmt1sS.png

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        lol, that is awesome.  


        My issue is not with the discussion.  My issue is how people act when they perceive that they have the moral high ground.  It's easy to justify dismissing the concerns of another person when you think that they are morally deficient. 

      • madmanmoe Keeper of Shenanigans

        1 year ago

        That's why I like having these discussions with you, we think a lot alike

    • Newbs FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Uncle Slam

      1 year ago

      Yo! "@Newbs  halp.  we want to have an MSt3K night.  Let me know best practices."


      Figured I would comment on here instead of in the thread. What exactly do you want to know? 

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        What is the best way of setting up a simulcast with a youtube vid; other than everyone yelling 1,2,3 go and hitting play. 

      • Newbs FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Uncle Slam

        1 year ago

        @Priest


        http://sync-video.com/


        Just hit Create New Room button and you should be able to figure it all out!

    • topham FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold DHYB

      1 year ago

      I'm confused as to how we weren't friends on here before...

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        1 year ago

        as am I. BTW, I get you and @Toptoast confused all the time. look at your avatars, from a distance it gets quite confusing.

      • Toptoast FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of the Breakfast

        1 year ago

        We look so alike: https://cdn.drawception.com/images/panels/2015/3-25/2ahT2cBnce-12.png

    • Dylan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Davesexual

      2 years ago

      Just dropping by to let you know that I've cracked the code to get your dream to work in the story! I changed some things up, elaborated and embellished, but it's happening now and I honestly can't thank you enough. Hope you're having a great day, kind sir.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        Fantastic. Just let me know when it hits theaters and get me a seat next to Ryan Reynolds.

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      2 years ago

      Happy Warm and Fuzzies!

      heart

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        That's awesome.

    • Kiwi OCC Time Lord

      2 years ago

      Where did you find that Laboradorite knife? I NEED!!!

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        Reddit, under the Blacksmith Sub. It is a Jay Fisher knife:


        http://www.jayfisher.com/Handles_Knife_Gemstone6.h...


      • Kiwi OCC Time Lord

        2 years ago

        @Priest OMG his work is gorgeous! But his knives START at $1,000. I don't think I could convince my husband to go for that, even if it is my favorite rock. Check out this knife - Jagdkommando Tri-Dagger - it's a little more reasonable at $700.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        That tri-dagger is amazing.

    • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

      2 years ago

      I have never been a Featured User, Wow!!

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      2 years ago

      Happy FU Day!

    • Fly FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of Blades

      2 years ago

      LOOK WHO'S A FEATURED USER!!!

      I guess they're hitting all the Tennessee folks first...

    • Joron093 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of The Forges

      2 years ago

      Happy Birthday! *confetti & streamers*

    • LoZelda FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Supposedly An Adult

      2 years ago

      I want you to know that you guys keep tagging me in posts, but tagging is broken. I can see what you wrote, but I can't see where it was posted, I can't navigate to where it was posted, and I have no option to respond.

    • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

      2 years ago

      Wait, we weren't friends? I've been watching you on here for years!

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      2 years ago

      Fun fact, apparently there was merging of SWTOR since I last played. My level 50 Sith Assassin made his way to Shadowlands as well! I made my Republic tank: justamiddleman. Come find him!

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        Absolutely. I never shy away from a good story, even if it's self-deprecating.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        BTW, thanks for letting me tell that story...it was hilarious.

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        2 years ago

        Totally understandable. I probably won't be on until later anyway.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        I may play tonight after Reagan goes to bed. I like to play with her until she goes to bed since I don't see her all day.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        2 years ago

        That...is super sweet!

    • monopoly_j

      3 years ago

      1.gif
      MERRY CHRISTMAS!
      10359112_922915201074811_789892555278581
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      • monopoly_j

        3 years ago

        smiley0.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        Merry Christmas to you too!!

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      3 years ago

      I didn't realize you're from Memphis. What part? My fiancee is from there.

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        3 years ago

        I appreciate the advice. We talked extensively about religion and children before we got engaged. As for singers, I'll definitely run that by her smiley0.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        It is going to be difficult; though you have the Christian tradition to hold you together. One of my favorite musicians is Catholic- Matt Marr. Catholics can co-exist with Evangelicals or Protestants, so long as the foundation is the same. I would definitely get on the same page before children, You don't want confused kids on your hands.

        let me know if you need someone to sing, I sort of do that. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPg7vHP_RnA

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        3 years ago

        And congratulations on your 5 years of marriage, and many more years to come!

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        3 years ago

        As with all good things in life, it can't come without some struggle. Coming from different religions gives us a unique positive, in that we know we have to work through differences. In the end, it makes it all worth it and better than just kicking the can down the road.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        Congrats on marriage, btw- I've been married 5 years, it's awesome. There are struggles, but you'll work them out.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        Very pretty campus. I went by there last week. Belle Meade is a great area.

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        3 years ago

        They do go to Second, and that's actually where we're going to get married next year. A lot of bs to go through since I'm Catholic, but we made it work out smiley0.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        Nope. But if they go to the one off Poplar (second I think) that is a beautiful Church

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        3 years ago

        So do they, but they're Presby's so I doubt it's the same church smiley8.gif .

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        I know exactly where that is. I go to Church right there on Poplar

      • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

        3 years ago

        Yep, familiar with that area. Her family is from East Memphis, before you cross 240 (if you're coming from the city).

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        East, Collierville. It's not a bad place to be.

    • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

      3 years ago

      Happy Father's day man.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        3 years ago

        Thank you!!!!

    • edwin

      4 years ago

      Are you no longer in the Game of Death thread?

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      4 years ago

      Any idea why swooper is so worked up over this scramjet thing? I know he hates anything related to the military, but this is ridiculous. I'm really getting tired of arguing with him.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        4 years ago

        Sorry I just saw this. my work computer doesn't give me the javascript notifications that I have messages or comments, so this is late.

        I don't really know why he was so worked up about it, and his arguments made no sense. It's like he believes that there's some sort of 'glass ceiling.'

    • edwin

      5 years ago

      You literally removed all of your personal information. Did someone stalk you or something?

      • edwin

        5 years ago

        Sounds about right. All fair reasons, at that.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        The moral of the story: people are more interested in what YOU are doing than actually paying attention to what THEY are doing.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        I got heat at work, not from this page, but because I was 'posting on FB during work hours' and someone at my job complained to my manager (who couldn't care less because I get everything done and work my ass off.) My manager just told me to be careful, so I locked FB down to Friends only, put all my co-workers outside that box and now they only can see on FB what I choose for them to be able to see. But a simple google search can find my RT profile; so I removed any demo. info.

      • edwin

        5 years ago

        Fair enough. Why so secretive?

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        No; I just can't lock the personal information down to just friends. If there was a way for me to filter who can see what...I'd do it.

    • edwin

      5 years ago

      You renewed too fast for me to heckle your non-sponsorship adequately.

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        lol, I got the email this morning that it had dropped and promptly took care of it.
        smiley1.gif

    • monopoly_j

      5 years ago

      1.gif
      Merry Christmas from Monopoly_J
      I hope the Holiday finds you doing well.

      tumblr_lvskgsRL1W1qz9phmo1_500.jpg
      Merry-Christmas-prev.jpg
      barlites02.gif

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        Merry Christmas!

    • iamcevrus2

      5 years ago

      Actually, not an Atheist, believe in God very much, but I trust the Church as much as I can throw them. And they include but are not limited to an entire country.

    • Izzi

      5 years ago

      Congrats to you and your wife!

      • Priest FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold NonSequitur OCC Consular

        5 years ago

        Thanks!! :)

    • jay3of7

      11 years ago

      Welcome to Red Vs Blue !!!

  • Questions answered by Priest

    Jambalaya (homemade) garlic bread, cake. Now that I'm an adult, I'd like a nice, tall, glass of scotch. 

    Hmm, do I get to keep the experience I have now?  If so, I'd like to go back to 19 and make different health choices, and cherish youth a little more. 

    Male Lion. I would love to lay against Simba while losing on the Xbone

    The Earth is Flat. I just want to see what that would look like.

    Dengar, you can't tell but he's pretty good at telling a joke.

    Hmm. Well, if I were to pick a car that would aesthetically look like a spaceship but not actually be a space ship, I would have to pick the Eagle 5 from Spaceballs


    latest?cb=20120107110408

    I would help you at no charge bud. BTW, King of the Road is one of my favorite songs. My family has always been musically inclined, and my Dad used to sing Roger Miller during road trips. Obviously quite different than Verdi stylistically, but hey, that's not a problem.